Luca in lycra: riding for relief

  • Community

Lockdown was tough for business banker Luca Kordbache, but he’s now riding to help raise awareness of mental health.

  • 24.02.2023
  • Time to read 1 min read


Please note: This story deals with themes of mental illness and suicide.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, business banker Luca Kordbache was one of many who found lockdowns a challenge.


Luca representing NAB in front of the camera for a video promoting Ride for Relief
Luca representing NAB in front of the camera for a video promoting Ride for Relief

“I love being around people and I love to be moving around,” said Luca, “so having to do remote exercise, stuck within my own four walls with limited movement, had an overwhelming impact.

“There’s only so much you can do playing ‘Among Us’ online with your friends. That was good, but it’s not enough of a connection for me.”

Luca felt anxiety, stress and even mild depression through Covid, and saw many around him feeling the same way.

“A lot of people I know, including members of my family, have also experienced some form of impact to their mental health,” he said.

But what Luca didn’t anticipate was that coming out of lockdown would also present a challenge.

“I always thought of myself as being an extrovert, but Covid really rattled my chains,” he said. “I felt anxiety in front of large crowds, and that my social battery got depleted more quickly.

“Even just a small catch up for brunch, which I’d normally thrive on, would take a lot or energy and I needed some downtime afterwards.

Luca with teammates at the beginning of Ride for Relief event

“It was quite overwhelming, and I sought support from friends, family and colleagues to really ride through it.”

Luca with teammates at the beginning of Ride for Relief event

Luca in his lycra, giving a shaka (hang ten, or hang loose) hand gesture

Riding through it

Sport was another source of support for Luca, and this week he continues to literally ride through it by participating in Ride for Relief, a NAB-sponsored event that raises funds and awareness in support of those living with mental health challenges.

“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to do something like this,” he said.

“Who would’ve thought you’d be thrown an opportunity where you are away from computers, laptops and credit assessments, let alone being asked to ride a bike for such a great cause!”

Over six days, Luca and a small team will ride more than 700km across Eastern Victoria, starting at Metung and finishing at the Mornington Peninsula with NAB customer – and event host and founder – Peninsula Hot Springs.

A steep learning curve

Luca has played outdoor soccer since he was six, and later basketball, tennis and mixed Futsal on Sunday nights. But riding has never been his thing.

“I tend to be relatively fit in other sports, but I haven’t really given riding a good go,” he said.

The trail has an elevation of 6.5km, so Luca will be on a ‘steep’ learning curve.

“The elevation didn’t really trigger me until I got myself out on the bike and actually explored a few of the tough hills,” he said.

luca riding his bike, exerting himself

“It's like a mind game, so you really push your body to new limits to overcome that challenge and motivate yourself to persevere and push through.”

A map of the bike trail that Luca will follow for Ride for Relief, from Metung to the Mornington Peninsula
A map of the Ride for Relief course

Before the ride, Luca drove to some parts of the course, including the steep incline of Arthurs Seat, to check out what he’d signed up for. While the bay views were great, it became even more clear that this would be no ride in the park.

“Everyone has their own Mount Everest to overcome, so for me that is Arthurs Seat!” he said.

“This will be a true test of my limits, but I welcome the challenge in support of such a great cause.”

If you or someone you know needs support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


About Ride for Relief

Hosted and founded by NAB Customer Peninsula Hot Springs, Ride for Relief honours the memory of their co-founder, Richard Davidson, who sadly died by suicide seven years ago.

NAB is Platinum partner and the event raises funds for Mentis Assist, a not-for-profit that provides support for those living with mental illness.

Visit the Peninsula Hot Springs website for more, including ways you can support.

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